West Virginia University in Vendée, France
(External view of the historic Logis de la Chabotterie)
One of the key features of WVU-V is the careful integration of excursions and field
trips into the academic program. The sites to be explored have been selected for
their broad cultural significance and for their specific relation to past and current ways
of life in France and in the Vendée region. The menu to the left indicates pages
containing details on some of the sites selected. Below is some general information
on some of the other planned excursions:
- The Island of Noirmoutier. One of the many islands of the coast of Vendée,
Noirmoutier offers a rich history, dating back to the Vikings who invaded and pillaged the
island's riches in the 9th century. Even further back, la Plage des Dames is rumored
to have been a gathering place for the Celtic druidesses of pre-Christian times.
Fishing, the production of sea salt, and a special forms agriculture adapted to the salty
fields of the island have long been the keys to its economy. One of the most
fascinating features of the island is the fact that it is so for only about half the
time. In fact, the tides recede so completely that during certain hours
visitors and residents can access the island by driving or walking across the ocean
floor. The celebrated "Passage du
Gois" is one of the
best reasons for knowing exactly when the tides will rise. Over the centuries many
have lost their lives by trying to get across at the wrong time. Today the passage
is carefully watched, and as an extra precaution, small towers have been built for the
inadvertant travelor who get caught by the surging waters. These pages, from Vendée
en ligne , have more information on this enchanted isle: Noirmoutier. For
even more photos and information, browse to: Présentation de Noirmoutier.
- The House of Georges Clemenceau. Unfortunately the developer lost our photos
from this visit (along with most of those from Noirmoutier). Clemenceau's house,
located on the coast of his native Vendée, contains the relics of one of the greatest men
of modern France. From his role in the formative years of the Third Republic, to his
journalism that included the publising of Emile Zola's incendiary letter against
prejudice, "J'Accuse," to his role as the "Father of Victory" in World
War I, Clemenceau truly lives up to his nickname of "the Tiger."
- Les Châteaux de la Loire. Except for our visit of Paris, this trip will be the
one that leads us furthest from Vendée. Not too, far, however. In fact the
most beautiful Renaissance castles in the world are only a few hours away. Our
two-day visit to the Loire Valley will surely be one of the more memorable of of our
activities. For an idea of what is in store, you might try this link to pages on the
Loire region prepared by WVU's own Brad Gunnell: Les Pays de la Loire.
See also the "Hétéroclite" site which contains photos of some
châteaux: La région
de la Loire.
Vous êtes le visiteur numéro
aux pages de Michael Lastinger.